Tara DeAugustinis has been battling pleural mesothelioma since diagnosed in early 2016 at the age of 45. She and her husband, Rich, have maintained a personal website documenting her journey with the disease via journal entries, and they have decided to share their story with the mesothelioma community. To read part ten of this story, click here.
Going Home to be with Jesus
Journal entry by Rich DeAugustinis — 5/19/2017
Family, Friends and Colleagues,
Today was one of the best and worst days of my life. At noon I had the opportunity to watch my daughter receive an incredible honor at school. She received Wesleyan’s “Outstanding Achievement Award” for 9th grade girls — a recognition of her all around academic, athletic and extracurricular leadership this school year. Talk about a proud moment for Tara and me… Then, 3 hours later, we had to share the news with her that we are sharing with you now, that Tara’s battle with mesothelioma is coming to an end and she is going home to be with Jesus.
Since we last updated you on March 29, a lot has transpired. As you know, she started on immunotherapy early in April at Winship Cancer Institute with great hope that it would turn the tide against this horrible disease. In the weeks since, her health has declined rapidly as the meso continued to grow and spread. Her breathing has become more and more labored in the last 6 weeks, to the point where she has been on oxygen full time at home since mid-April. Last week, she began having problems swallowing food and medicine, and it got to the point that we brought her to the hospital last Friday. We are still there.
This week we have learned that her latest CT scan shows that the mesothelioma has spread in her remaining left lung, and also in the abdomen and in several lymph nodes. Bottom line, the immunotherapy is not working. We also learned that her esophagus had narrowed, likely caused by the radiation and the meso. This is what created the swallowing issues. Thankfully, the amazing doctors and nurses at Emory St. Joseph’s stabilized Tara this week and were able to dilate her esophagus, providing some needed short term relief for her so she is able to eat some limited foods again.
Given the pace of progression of the mesothelioma, she will transition to in-home hospice at her parents house after being discharged this weekend. We don’t know exactly how much time she has left, but we will be focused on making the best of it as a family and with our friends.
As Tara has shared with you before, we stand firm as a family on a few key beliefs: God is sovereign. He is in control. He is good Father and He has a plan for our lives. He loves us and will never forsake us. He is with Tara and with us in this journey. While we are heartbroken at this news, “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Not some things, not most things, ALL things. Tara’s purpose on this earth is coming to a close and God is calling her home to be with Him, for His purpose.
We appreciate your consideration of our privacy during this difficult time. We will keep you updated in due course, and will celebrate Tara’s life with you at the appropriate time. In the meantime, please continue to pray for the Lord’s mercy and for comfort and peace for Tara, and for strength, understanding, love and peace for our family. Please also pray for the hospice team providing medical care and support for Tara in the coming weeks, and for our immediate family and close friends that will be providing round-the-clock caregiving support as well.
Please feel free to send notes of love, support and inspiration to Tara by commenting on Facebook or CaringBridge. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers of love and support. Blessings to each and every one of you.
— Rich DeAugustinis